Susan Weaver’s family roots in Van Buren County paid huge dividends Tuesday, enabling her to defeat District Court Judge Amy Brazil in the preferential primary election to the new 9th District, created by the Arkansas General Assembly in 2011. District 9 is comprised of Faulkner and Van Buren counties.
In Van Buren County, Weaver held an insurmountable 1170-vote lead in the Position 2 race. Brazil collected 53 percent of the votes in Faulkner County, but Weaver more than made up the difference with 77.5 percent of the votes in Van Buren County.
Overall, unofficial results showed Weaver holding a 52-percent edge with 6,818 votes to Brazil’s 6,212.
Unofficial results showed Brazil winning Faulkner County, where her family roots are equally deep, with 5,734 votes to Weaver’s 5,170.
Weaver’s hometown is Clinton and Brazil’s is Conway, where they both now reside.
Brazil, 45, has served as District Court judge since July 2010. She was appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe to complete the term of Brazil’s uncle, Judge Russell L. "Jack" Roberts, following his death. Weaver, a former deputy prosecuting attorney, has been in private practice.
Judge David L. Reynolds, of Conway, secured the Position 1 seat in his race against opponent Mike Murphy of Conway with an unofficial total of 7,427 votes at 58 percent.
Reynolds, 57, is currently serving as a circuit judge in the 20th Judicial District. He was first elected to the Circuit Court in 1990, and re-elected in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2008. He served 17 months as the 20th Judicial District’s first juvenile judge beginning in 1989 and also served the district as chief deputy prosecuting attorney from 1987 to 1989.
Murphy received 5,415 votes. Murphy, 51, has served as Conway city attorney since 1991 and as district court prosecutor for more than 21 years.
Rhonda Wood swept the race to win the position of appeals court judge for the district that covers Faulkner County.
According to unofficial results, Wood, of Conway, carried both Faulkner and Van Buren counties with 77 percent of the vote and a total of 9,763 votes to opponent Mitch Cash’s 2,886.
The position is currently held by Cliff Hoofman, who was appointed after Justice Karen Baker began her term on the state Supreme Court. His term expires Dec. 31.
Wood has been serving as circuit judge in the 20th Judicial District since 2006. Before that, she was the assistant dean of student development at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law, where she taught business law and health law courses. She also owned a private law practice in Conway.
Cash, of Pindall, is a Searcy County district court judge. Cash has been practicing law for about 16 years, spending 10 years as a trial lawyer before being elected district court judge.
(Megan Reynolds is the staff writer and can be reached at 505-1277 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. To comment on this story and others, visit www.thecabin.net)